LAPALME FASHION ART CULTURE EVENTS
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K EV IN LA PA LME Editor-in-Chief
ANGEL CAR DONA Creative Director
BRYAN W HITEHURST Cultural Director M ASSIEL M ANCEBO Assistant Editor
M ARK ANTHON Y BROW N PR / Marketing / Sales
FR ANCESCA GR EEN WOOD Editorial Director LU IS AY USO Fashion & Style Editor JAY D’A LBA Partnership Liaison
COR A LIE CLAEYSEN GLEYZON Contributing Art Editor K AR EN LEIGH Contributing Graphics
CHR IS INOCENNCIO COR R EA Contributing Photograher / Graphics DER ECK HENRY Contributing Fashion Writer ANDR EW MITCHELL Contributing Fashion Writer
ESTEE HENRY Contributing Fashion Writer
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Features & Fashion
On The Cover:
08 14 16 22 26 32 36 44 46 56 58 66 78 82 90 103 104 106 122
Photographer Michael Giragosian Model Yoanna House Stylist Tammara Kohler Make Up Sheri Michelle Hair Angel Cardona Stylist Assist Gloriel Santana Fur - Stylists Own Cocktail Jacket - Marchesa Cocktail Dress - Marchesa Boots - Stylists Own
MODERN BON TON
TOP 10 MENS SUIT MISTAKES OXFORD BOUND
FILM INFLUENCING FASHION DAY 2 NIGHT
JOURNEY TO PERSONAL STYLE ORIENT EXPRESS WINTER WOES
MEDUSA MEETS LIONS STRIKE A POSE
TRANSPORTATION BREAKDOWN TIME OF THE SEASON
MARSALA - COLOR OF THE YEAR VITA DI ORO
HAIR TRENDS & TIPS
WHAT’S FUR WINTER? WOMAN OF STEEL
SHINE IN THE NEW YEAR
Alchemist of Fashion 4
Sue Wong shares her wonderful stories, experiences and the keys to living a life surrounded by magic and beauty.
Head of the class of “young emerging entrepreneurs” Marvin Bienaime tells us his stories and challenges in the modeling world, and how he now helps other achieve their modeling dreams.
Tailor Your Tech
They say the future has officially arrived, and itâ€™s no doubt that with new fashionable gadgets in the markets, the future is also looking very chic.
From winning Miss America to becoming a world-class entrepreneur, Ericka Dunlap talks to us about her journey, challenges, triumfs, and the important lessons sheâ€™s learned along the way to becoming a true queen.
The creative rebel with a cause for expression himself through artistic hairstyling, talks to us about life, hair and acceptance.
The Hungarian queen of digital surrealism uses her whimsical photographs to bring us into a new visionary world.
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Men’s Suit Mistakes
Styling Yourself Better In 2015
ne of the most stylish fashion statements a man can make in his lifetime is wearing a goo suit. When it’s time to look sharp, smart and put-together, there is nothing like a wearing a sharp well fitted suit. When it’s done right, a suit can give a man a powerful look. However, some men are failing to wear their suits correctly. Often times the pants are too long, the jacket sleeves are too short, the lapels are too wide, the buttons too tight... we could go on and on. To help our fellow men who may be struggling in the suit department, Lapalme Magazine has highlighted the top 10 most unforgivable mistakes men are making with their suits. So read well suit-wearers and pledge to never to commit these errors again!
Choosing jackets that are too long.
A good way to test the length? Let the jacket hem fall where your fingertips end naturally. It’s as easy as that.
Forgetting to remove the brand label off the jacket sleeve.
We are shaking our heads.
Not getting your jacket sleeves hemmed or tailored.
Most men assume that once their pants are hemmed, they are done. But jacket sleeves are just as important, if not more so. Suit sleeves that are too long look careless, and sleeves that are too short can look silly. Make sure the jacket ends 1/2 inch above your shirt sleeve. In addition, take care to tailor the jacket width around the bicep and the torso. Most mens suit jackets are too roomy, making them look heavier and disheveled.
Forgetting to cut open the thread on the the back vent and pockets. Again, we can do better!
Lapels that are too big.
If they are big enough for Lawrence Welk, they are too big. 3-inches is probably a safe upper limit.
Wearing pants with pleats. You’re not the dad from “Leave It To Beaver” and this isn’t 1955. Flat-front pants are the way to go so that you don’t look 10 pounds heavier.
Wearing pants that are too long. Mind the break: as in, the break that occurs in the fabric when the bottom of your pants skim the tops of your shoes creating a horizontal crease (a “break”) in the fabric. Pants with no break mean they are too short and fall right above the shoe flashing some unwanted ‘sock’ this can be trendy, but perhaps too risky for the classic man. Most men should aim for a medium break, not too rumpled or baggy, and not too short around the ankles.
Choosing shirts that are too big. There will be a couple of power lifting lovers out there with bulging muscles whose shirts are too tight; but generally, men have the problem of buying shirts too big. When it comes to the collar, follow the one-finger rule (if you can fit more than one finger between the collar and your neck, it’s too big). For the torso, just purchase a slim-cut shirt please! If it’s billowing out or bunching at the sides when you tuck it in, it’s simply too big.
You may have gotten a spiffy black suit for your Bar Mitzvah, Christmas party or wedding, and you may have seen your father rock a black suit to the office everyday; but black should generally be reserved for funerals and weddings. For daytime wear, stick with a classic navy or charcoal gray, paired with shoes in brown hues. The good thing is, there are almost no colored shirts that won’t match well with navy or gray so you have plenty to choose from.
Going bold with French cuffs -that look like flippers.
French cuffs, worn with subtle and elegant cuff links can add a certain “oomph” to a suit for a more formal occasion. But when they’re too big at the wrist and or exceed the size of the suit sleeves they’re under, they’ll flop around conspicuously. In cases like these, sometimes it’s best to just steer clear entirely.
a D Y
NighT Model Andrea Campbell Model Ines Hugenin Photographer Jorge Rivas Hair Jorge Luis Hair Laurent Dufourg Make Up Dillon Pena Stylist Beth Hitchcock Gowns Hernan Lander Artistic Director Jorge Luis
“Massiel wears some of her ultimate favorite pieces to mix, match and travel with.” Jacket: Ralph Lauren, Skirt: Lindex, Norway. Blouse: Lindex, Norway. Shoes: Elie Tahari
The Journey Towards
Lapalme’s Assistant Editor shares her secrets on finding ones personal style for a fashionable 2015
PERSONAL STYLE T P
By: Massiel Mancebo
he structured suits and affinity for wearing all black does not define Karl Lagerfeld’s perersonal style is something, which is often discussed in a vapid and commercial- sonal style, but rather by a story, a development ized manner. What is personal style exactly? Is it a few key pieces in ones wardrobe, of his persona, which create a defined, and well which reflect a certain archetype? Alternatively, perhaps it is something more. In the developed personal style. Personal style is not documentary on the famously controversial designer Karl Lagerfeld, Lagerfeld Confi- about the clothing, as much as it is about ones dential (2007) we hear a bit about his background, as well as his childhood. From this story, and the good thing about it is that we all documentary, we learn that the designer’s mother had wishes that he would one day have a story. The key to finding a personal style is be a priest. Of course, those wishes did not happen, and far from it, Karl Lagerfeld finding the story that gives that style life. What has become one of the most famous fashion designers and icons in the world, draw- do we wish to be? Where do we wish to be going from this background the signature “look” that he carries today. The solid black ing? Ask yourself if your future involves exclusive suits, the starched white collars, and an air of mystique and anonymity, which make meetings, constant travels, or many creative ophis style seemingly unattainable. portunities. As a child, did you wish to be a n my journey to finding my own personal style royal? Or where you I’ve learned to analyze my own story, and figure out battling evil on jagged what are the elements that can be translated into “key mountains and rugged items”. There will always be a love for Oxford shirts, landscapes? All these and penny loafers, a feel for sitting somewhere cold questions may seem biand wrapping around in a scarf while sipping an Earl zarre at first glance, but Grey tea. I also have my many stories of travel, adven- strangely enough, we ture, and hiking through forests, perhaps there is a bit are often drawn to the of Ernest Hemingway and ancient warrior empresses. very things, which we All of these elements lead me straight towards heavy can identify with from jackets, structured coats and of course –leather; mixing early on. We all create a and matching the extremely proper with a bit of edge world for ourselves, and and risk, and never forgetting the dash of warrior. New in this world we exyears are the perfect opportunity to seek ones personal press a particular fashstyle, and find the story, which makes us who we are. ion sense that leads us It isn’t just about trendy dresses and vintage necklaces, to say things like: “this or spending thousands on a wardrobe, but more about shirt is me” it is the infinding your inner “icon” and figuring out what you’d ner voice that leads us towards tweed and runlike to say, what story you’d like to tell. ning fast away from the sequins. Through developing this personal style we are able to communicate our stories, we are able to state the colors and shapes that give us happiness, power, empathy and confidence. We are able to create an image, and that image “I love wearing solid, is what people see first –so it has to be important. structured dresses with
no prints, they make me feel powerful and put together.” Dress: French Connection UK
Tips to develop
ECIOHC S’DOOWYLLOH ERAC RIAH YRACEHTOPA ROF
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yracehtopA rof eciohC s’doowylloH era eW ot ytiliba eht uoy evig ot tnaw dna eraC riaH noihsaf ,teprac der ,ruomalg nwo ruoy etaerc FIND YOUR STORY LOOK FOR FIT FIRST .stnon emfindom yad yreve dna yaw nur Everyone has a story, what’s yours? Work Sometimes we get caught up in “trends” more than we do fit,
ing who you’d like to be, and where you’d like to be. fit is important! You’ve got to find what works for your body Even if it’s something imaginative, try to think of yad yreve detset ylsuorogir era stcudorP étype virPabove all things. Next summers bohemian dresses may a character that you’d like to be, being in a mindset be a hit on the runways but it may not be such a great look ,stooabout hsotoyourself. hp ot ,kIfeeyou W adnoihsaF ta egatskcab for moyou. rf Check for proportions, check for things popping out, that makes you feel good mire the likes of Rita Hayworth, n i u oy eElizabeth k i l tsu j sTaylor, tn e i l c no dn a s te s mlbulging i f n o in the wrong direction, etc. Make sure that when you and all those glorious beauties from the old Hollylook at yourself you look put together, and that starts with sih ot gninruteR .dlrow eht ssorca snolas wood era, why not try to channel them by wearing things fitting properly. depfeelings olevein d yyourself llanos?rep tneruaL ,egatireh hcnerF things that evoke those
eht eveihca ot sdnelb labreh tceles eseht fo yarra sihT .yllarutan selyts gnignellahc tsom yranidroartxe sedivorp sdnelb labreh larutan EXPERIMENT You aren’t always going ,gnitonofind itidthe nocper,gnisnaelc évirP hcae ot stfieneb fect sense of style, sometimes you’re stcudorp eseht dna alumrof gnihsinfi dna gnilyts going to have to experiment a little. igamtogfail nitaa ecourc nehw sesu tneruaL sloot eht era Which means you’llchave ple of times before figuring.out who you stelrats elbanoihsaf tsom s’doowylloH no are style wise. Look up trends, and find some you’d like to try, if they don’t work etanext erc one. dnaYou’ll évirP ecneirepxe ot uoy etivni eW out, move on to the eventually find things that you look .nw o ruoy fo tnemom ruomalg yliad a good in and you feel good in.
FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE
If your lifestyle demands you to be in a particular style most of the time, build around that style, wear things that make you feel good about yourself, but still allow you to be yourself. Invest in the things you know you will be wearing most of the time and get the most use out of, if you want to get a few fun pieces that take a detour from that go ahead, but make most of your big purchases with a purpose in mind.
LOOK FOR .w wupwwith t i sLapalme iV ROLE MODELS . u o y r a e n n o l a s a r o f m o c . s t c u d o r p e v i r pKeep Are you struggling to find a story? Check out someone elses’! It may be that there is a celebrity out there who has a style you’d love to own. If you like Gwen Stefani for example, collect images of some of her best looks, and take them out shopping with you. You may not find the exact items of clothing, but you’ll have them as a guideline to help you channel her style.
Magazine and our picks for best styles, looks, and trends, by following our instagram account.
Most importantly be yourself ! If you aren’t a rhinestone and sparkle wearing person don’t try to become one. Some of us like the darker side of things, and some of us like the frills and the pastels, we can all be different Finding a true personal style can take time, and yes, Instragram.com/LapalmeMagazine and look good while doing it. it does take research. Look up images, save mocthem, .stcudask orpeviRemember rp.www 6that 3009 A C , s e l e g n A s o L , 0 0 1 e t i u S , . d v l B y l r eveB 0527 ~ ®stcudorP lanoisseforP évirP 4102© a personal style around, take time to analyze the things you would like is personal, it’s your own, make it to wear and if they look good on you. worth your while you deserve it!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
HOLLYWOOD’S CHOICE FOR APOTHECARY HAIR CARE Welcome to the World of Privé. We are Hollywood’s Choice for Apothecary Hair Care and want to give you the ability to create your own glamour, red carpet, fashion runway and every day moments. Privé Products are rigorously tested every day from backstage at Fashion Week, to photoshoots, on film sets and on clients just like you in salons across the world. Returning to his French heritage, Laurent personally developed these select herbal blends to achieve the most challenging styles naturally. This array of natural herbal blends provides extraordinary benefits to each Privé cleansing, conditioning, styling and finishing formula and these products are the tools Laurent uses when creating magic on Hollywood’s most fashionable starlets. We invite you to experience Privé and create a daily glamour moment of your own.
Visit www.priveproducts.com for a salon near you.
©2014 Privé Professional Products® ~ 7250 Beverly Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036
It’s cold outside and while winter brings out our favorite boots and holiday dresses it also brings dry skin,cracked lips, and parched tresses. Even if you pride yourself in moisturizing year round, the cold weatherrequires reinforcements with products that provide a barrier between you and the elements. So here’s a quick survival guide to keep you protected from head to toe. written by: Estee Henry
TOM FORD BEAUTY LIP COLOR Too often we sacrifice comfort for color and cling to the “Chapstick” in the name of moisture. Well no more! Tom Ford beauty products are highly sought after due to their selection of gorgeous shades and special moisturizing formula, which nourishes and protects for smooth, color-saturated lips. $50 Nordstroms
MOLTON BROWN WARMING EUCALYPTUS and GINGER SCRUB This invigorating exfoliant is infused with eucalyptus, rosemary, and menthol and provides a spa-like experience at home. This salt-based scrub helps get your skin glowing and leaves it soft and supple, but it also imparts a slight warming effect- perfect for those cold mornings when you need a ‘pick-me-up’. $48 moltonbrown.com
FEKKAI PRX INTENSIVE FORTIFYING MASQUE This 2014 Allure Best of Beauty Award winner was masterfully crafted by Frederic Fekkai himself and is used at his legendary salons. This helps to intensely fortify your hair once a week while helping to restore smoothness and shine and protecting hair to resist future damage. Infused with argan extract and scented with vanilla and crème this indulgent masque will leave your hair softer than ever. $49 fekkai.com
WOES HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING POWDER A slightly paler complexion is inevitable in the midst of winter but you can still have a nice rosy glow with this lightweight powder; it was formulated to mimic universally f lattering light settings with a radiant hue, which is less than a bronze but adds a warm glow that doesn’t scream obvious. $45 hourglass.com
“Caring for skin before the colder months arrive is key to keeping skin healthier throughout the year.” BOBBY BROWN EXTRA SKINCARE SET This 3-piece set is perfect for when you need thicker, restorative products on your face. Included are her Extra Repair Eye Cream that’s packed with peptides which target: wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and dryness. The Extra Repair moisture cream utilizes a unique Triple Emulsion Technology to give the cream its lightweight texture while still allowing it to be incredibly moisturizing. The Extra Soothing Balm is densely concentrated and can be used anywhere extra hydration is needed, like lips, cuticles and even heels. $115 Nordstroms
With these great products and tips you are sure to have a lovely and gorgeous winter look!
Tailor your Tech Fashion and technology have created a fabulous synergy; both industries develop very quickly and are always changing. Now it seems they’ve collided. The term “wearables” has become the IT word to describe fashion that is designed around a specific purpose. Here are some of the designers who are forging ahead and merging the two.
RINGLY Imagine being able to escape from the task of holding your phone in your hands but still being notified when, you know, life happens. Well the creative team at Ringly have created a ring that can do just that. Ringly has 4 customizable vibrations that can notify you when receiving a: call, text, calendar reminder, or even an Uber notification. Ringly even offers notifications from your favorite social media and apps. With the launch collection crafted with an 18K matte gold, 3 micron plated setting, and precious and semi-precious stones, you’re sure to stay stylishly connected and never miss a step! www.ringly.com
ELEMOON Elemoon Wearable Bracelet wants to make alerts more “Chic Than Geek”. The Elemoon bracelet offers an array of coloured LEDs set within a polymer and copper or stainless steel bracelet. The light pattern displayed by the wearable can be customised to a user-created design or to match the outfit of the wearer, with a colour matching feature offered in the companion app. The lights also act as personalised alerts for incoming calls/texts to the wearer’s phone from a particular person — using Bluetooth as the connectivity link betwixt bracelet and phone. Alerts are configured via the iOS or Android apps. The final feature on offer is a ‘find your phone’ trigger that lets the bracelet wearer rub its touch-sensitive surface to set off an audio alert to locate their Bluetooth-linked device. The logic being you’re more likely to have temporarily misplaced your phone than the bracelet attached to your wrist. www.elemoon.com -Luis Ayuso 64
THE IBIS SMART WATCH Ibis is what the industry is calling, smart wearable luxury jewelry. Designed by the Finnish company, Creoir; it is made of crystal and stainless steel with rolling curves and swirls. The concept was inspired by a f lying bird whose wing tips touch together while carrying a young bird on its back. Keeping the traditionalist happy and still indulging the inner geek is the key; the body is crafted from stainless steel while the screen is covered in crystal. www.creoir.com
ASHER LEVINE Fashion and security are usually juxtaposing ideas But Asher Levine has married them seamlessly. Keeping with his innovative aesthetic, he invented the first downloadable designer 3-D printed sunglasses. Now from his underground Tribeca workshop comes the newest in wearable tech, the 4.0 TrackR chip. Itâ€™s a Bluetooth enabled chip that is sewn into your bag that syncs up with your iPhone or Android device through the TrackR app to monitor the bagâ€™s location. As soon as your bag gets about 30 feet away from you, your phone starts to notify you for an easy retrieval. www.asherlevine.com
Sue Wong in her studio, surrounded by gorgeous gowns and the effervescent energy of her never ending creativity. PHOTO BY: LIZA ROSALES
SUE WONG THE ALCHEMIST OF FASHION
SUE A true visionary with an enlivened soul, Sue Wong creates a universe of constant creativity and beauty. Sue Wong is a true alchemist of fashion; mixing the science and techniques of high couture, the brilliance of her uniquely seamless craftsmanship along with the magic of her many artistic backgrounds, dreams, and experiences, she has created a world of beauty, fantasy, and energy. Sue Wong shares with us her stories, and the keys to living a life surrounded by magic and beauty. By: Massiel Mancebo
MM: We’d love to know more about you. Who is Sue Wong and how would she describe herself?
SW: Well, so many people describe me in such superlative terms that it’s rather daunting and embarrassing (laughs) but I see on Facebook I have names like goddess and empress, and it just really seems rather imperial to me! I think I’m a very strong person with a very strong point of view. I’m an artist and I was really born that way, I think we come into the world with a karmic past so whatever DNA memory I took with me and carried over from past lives shows that I’ve been in the art business for many lifetimes. That’s why even untrained I can do so many different things and do them well -it’s not the sort of thing you can learn in school. Just yesterday I did eight flower arrangements with all of these tropical, beautiful flowers, from my garden. All of my environments were designed by me, I designed my three homes, my two showrooms East coast and West coast. I never studied the art of interior design or architecture before, but I know what I wanted to do. I’m currently in the process of remodelling my Malibu home, it has been in progress for a year and a half. I re-did the interior, added a solarium, a working studio, a guest house, a secret garden off of my master, so I decided the architecture there too. I didn’t even finish fashion design, I went to a trade school for a couple of months and then I was a dropout. Seven years later because I had accomplished so much
in the fashion business they actually honored me with a lunch and they gave me my full degree, even though I never graduated -it’s all very interesting. So anyway, I am an artist, I was born that way, art it is my passion, beauty is what I really stand for, what I really live for, what I create, it’s what I live to do. Beauty above everything is what has formed my universe, I’m a very passionate soul, I feel very deeply about things. I try to be a conscious human being, I try to gravitate towards the light, I think I’m a very positive person, and I think that’s how I have survived all of my adversities. I think all of us are really tested, and sometimes the higher level you are the more challenges and tests you are given, so I’ve been through a lot of different challenges. Still the one thing that has saved me from receding into the dark has been my will, I have a very powerful will. I see everything as a positive experience, even the negative things, to me these are learning lessons. They teach us how to be a better, stronger, human being, and progress to the next level. I’m full of energy, I have a very huge life force, and at this age I’m not really slowing down. I have eight assistants, they are all young women and they can barely keep up with me! (laughs) I also like to have fun in life, I have created a very enlivened universe for myself. I like to live big and grand, I like the quote by Niccolo Machiavelli that says: “Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul” I like living big, and creating on a large scale.
MM: I’ve read that you made your first blouse at age 9 and haven’t looked back every since. What was the major inspiration in your childhood which took you towards the world of fashion?
SW: Scarcity, the need to escape into my fantasy and have very beautiful things. Being the daughter of struggling immigrants there was not enough money to buy toys, or anything like that. I’ve been drawing every since I was a little child, I always knew I was an artist. I was always creative, around age 6 or 7 I started designing lavish wardrobes for my papers dolls, but then I got really tired of wearing funny hand-me-downs from my mothers friends, or just really strange make-shift blocks that she would whip up for me because she had no sense of Western style. I always went to school feeling slightly embarrassed because all the other little girls had pretty little dresses on and I would have my homemade shifts, or hand-medowns from my mom -I got tired of that. So I thought well, I’m going to make my own clothes! I went to JJ Newberrys which was a 5 and 10 cent store back in those day, got myself a piece of remnant for like 50 cents and made my first little boat neck blouse. I put some eyelet lace on the top and I think a new designer was born at that moment. MM: Wow, that shows the determination you had at such a young age, you definitely took matters into your own hands!
WO A display of great oppulence at Sue Wong’s Spring 2015 collection “Fairies & Sirens”. Opening Style Fashion Week at The Reef in Los Angeles, CA. PHOTO BY: LIZA ROSALES
SW: Exactly! I always took matters into my own hands, I don’t think anything has really changed from that in all these years! (laughs)
MM: Where did you find your inspiration growing up? And how has that changed today?
SW: I find beauty in everything, I find beauty in even the grotesque… case and point you can really say Francis Bacon for example; his art is rather grotesque but there is sort of a grotesque beauty to that. I find inspiration in nature, this is why I live in the middle of this gorgeous rainforest, because the power and the beauty of nature is so awesome. I think as artists we can only hope to imitate nature, but we could never compete with her, she’s such an awesome force. I see inspiration in a beautiful leaf, the wonder of a flower, or a fiery sunset, it’s all here you know? I have found inspiration in art, I am an art addict, I’m a beauty addict. I think growing up I would watch a lot of black & white Hollywood classics from the 1920s and 30s, I grew up watching gorgeous goddesses like Marlene Dietrich, even when she was wearing a rag 74
in the movie Blonde Venus (1932) I think it was, she still managed to make herself it look gorgeous! Also, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard; I thought they were the most magnificent most beautiful women on the planet, and later on they would become my iconic muses. I’ve always been somewhat of a romantic, even though there is a die-hard modernist in me, there’s this sort of juxtaposition between the vintage romantic and the modernist. I love 20th century art for instance, I love cubism, and surrealism, German expressionism, the Russian avant-garde. I think I just have a lust and zest for life, so it just comes from either direction. MM: On that note, is there any particular eras which you wish you could have lived in and gain ideas from?
SW: I think I’d probably live throughout the ages, I’d live everywhere. I think I have many years of involvement or connection with Asia because of my Asian roots, and I can feel the DNA memory over 5,000 years of history. I relate to places like Berlin, Paris, Venice, Hollywood of course…
London as well, I think I have past incarnations with these places. I do period adaptations from time to time, it could be renaissance, it could be 18th century French, Napoleonic, Victorian, Edwardian, the 40’s, I’ve done art collections, I’ve done it all! MM: Many famous celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Tyra Banks, and Jessica Biel, have worn your beautiful creations. I myself am a proud owner of a beautiful Sue Wong cocktail dress which I love. What do you feel your gowns inspire, what would you like women to feel in your gowns?
SW: Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that. Magic happens when you put on a Sue Wong dress! I love my mantra of beauty, magic and transformation; what that means is there is beauty in what I do, and I think women are connected to their feminine divine when they wear a Sue Wong dress. I think it’s because it makes them feel good, connects them to a positive energy, it truly empowers. That’s basically the philosophical essence behind what I do.
MM: You have an incredibly opulent and elegant style, what story do you like to tell with your fashion sense?
SW: I could say in a way I am some sort of a high-priestess, I believe in magic and the alchemy of beauty. I consider myself an alchemist, and I consider that I use beauty to really transform women, and change how they feel about themselves by giving them power. I do wear aspects of my designs, a lot of the pieces I wear on red carpet events I make for myself. I’ve created a template for myself with the fabric of these Indian Saree’s, that’s really my signature look. I’m not like Vera Wang who can walk out in jeans and a t-shirt, I don’t even really own a t-shirt (laughs) except a few that my son sent to me and I wear them for bed in the winter time or something! I haven’t worn a pair of jeans in over 30 years, I do wear leggings when I want to be comfortable or when I want to work out or something. But that’s it, I wanted to create a style that was opulent, different, flattering and gorgeous. I usually anchor it with a fabulous piece of jewelry by Vilaiwan, that’s what I’ve created for myself.
enemy and they are all pointing their arrows and spears at him. The whole thing about being a spiritual warrior is that even though in those moments you see those arrows coming to you at a mile a minute, and if one or two of those pierces you, do not allow it to stay within you as to let it kill you. Just pull it out immediately, and nurse the wound and move on. Most people they rather keep that arrow, and keep it lodged in there for the rest of their lives till it slowly eats at them and becomes cancerous, I just don’t allow myself to be taken there. I think we are who we think, whatever we dream up is really what we manifest into the world and that becomes our destiny. I really do feel that thought forms are pure energy, the more energy you give a thought form the more it will manifest whether it’s good or bad, so I feel that people should be really careful about what they think. If you think beautiful things you will manifest magic and beauty and wonderful things into your life, if you go into the dark and think depressive thoughts, and negativity you will also manifest that in your life. It all depends on what you want. I’d say my life has really turned out almost exactly like the way I dreamt it. The only thing I haven’t had any luck in is manifesting the right man yet, but I really feel that he’s coming my way soon. There’s a little bit more self-work, and self-healing, I think that’s really my vulnerable area. I think it depends on the kind of relationship we had with our fathers, I had a very difficult relationship with my father, so that’s really my achilles heal with that area of vulnerability within myself. But I think as I have grown incrementally as a human being, I have become more complete and I will find the right man for myself. So I am leaving my porch light on, and I think one of these days he will appear.
MM: What do you like to do to relax and unwind? SW: I do yoga, I do my pilates, I go on walks, and hikes here in nature. I like to read, I love all kinds of music, I like to screen a movie on my porch sometimes for friends in my community. I like to work on my garden, which is very beautiful right now as I’m looking over it. MM: What is some of your greatest fashion advice that you’ve received, and the greatest one you could give?
SW: I would go with my philosophy of finding your own style and just go for it. My personal style has always been glamorous, feminine, opulent, and it’s very individualistic. I believe in finding ones sense of individuality so whatever that is go for it. I also believe in creating a signature. My signature for instance is my red lips, I would feel naked without my red lipstick. I really think it’s all about taking care of yourself, making sure that you are made up, because that automatically makes people feel better about themselves. It’s better than looking like you just rolled out of bed. I think if women really made the effort to look good, they would actually feel better about themselves, I have always preferred a well-groomed look over a disheveled look. The old time movie stars exuded such a sense of glamour and mystique because even before they left their houses they had movie make-up artists to make them up beautifully and dressed well, so they exuded that movie star glamour. These days movie stars get out of bed with their hair all disheveled and a track suit and go stand in a line at Starbucks, how glamourous is that?! (laughs) It’s too accessible, if you’re going to be a larger than life character, you owe it to your audience to preserve that sense of magic and glamour -at least that’s what I say.
ONG MM: Was there a moment in your fashion career when you felt that you had truly achieved something great, that you had “made it”? SW: I think as we mature as artists we get better, I certainly feel that I’m a much better designer today than I was 20 years ago. But I certainly reached a certain threshold of accomplishment with this last fashion show. This fashion show was fantastic, I had Dave Navarro open the show for me, it was truly wonderful. MM: What were some of the greatest challenges in your life, and path to becoming who you are today?
SW: A lot of people do turn to me for inspiration because of my energy, I don’t remain defeated. I’m not a victim in life, I don’t like to go there, even though I’ve had my pain and loss and grief and all of that. I’ve suffered terrible losses! I lost two brothers, lost my father, I’ve been through two terrible relationships, where I was financially destroyed twice. I had made enormous fortunes and had lost them twice, but none of it daunts me. You have to be a good samurai, a good spiritual warrior. You can equate it to those old Akira Kurosawa movies, where you see the hero, the protagonist encircled by the
MM: Is there a particular destination you have travelled to, which you feel has fuelled your inspiration the most?
SW: Well I have three homes which I call mind, body and spirit, my Maui home is the “spirit”. So I’d say of course my secret haven here in Kipahulu, Maui. I think it was Charles Lindbergh who is buried about 1 mile down the highway from my house who quoted a Hindu proverb and said: “If there is a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.” So this is where I want to sail off into the big sunset one of these days.
MM: I hear you are quite the art collector, what is it about collecting art that fascinates you?
SW: I love art, I do have a Warhol behind my executive desk, but mainly I collect art by my friends, and they are the most brilliant artists on the west coast. I do collect from one particular artist who has been my best friend for over 22 years, then I also have from other artists like Peter Lodato.
Celebrity model Katie Cleary modeling a beautiful gown from Sue Wong’s Spring 2015 collection “Fairies & Sirens”. Opening Style Fashion Week at The Reef in Los Angeles, CA. PHOTO BY: LIZA ROSALES 76
The closing of a great fashion show, designer Sue Wong, and rocker Dave Navarro celebrate the end of Sue Wong’s Spring 2015 collection. Style Fashion Week at The Reef in Los Angeles, CA. PHOTO BY: LIZA ROSALES
These are all personal friends of mine, and they are all well known in the art scene of L.A. I believe in supporting my contemporaries. I don’t really collect art for monetary value, a piece of art has to really speak to me.
embroidery, the opulence, I love the entire era of the Qing dynasty. I truly fell in love the manchurian headdresses of that era, the empresses and the concubines wore them. I just love that whole period of Chinese costume and history.
MM: Are there any new projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to tell us about?
MM: Does Sue Wong have any words of advice for dreamers and goal chasers?
SW: Well yes, I do want to go back to China to build a mega lifestyle brand. I think that there is no one more poised to do it than me, as I am a daughter of China. I made my mark and made my success in the West but I would really like to go back to China and bring some of that glamour, and empower the women of China as well. I really want to create a global brand, that’s really where my energy is headed towards right now. MM: If you were an article of clothing, what would you be and why? SW: Oh wow, I don’t know if I can even answer that question! (laughs) I don’t know probably an imperial manchurian headdress just because I love the beauty of the
SW: If you have a have belief in anything your dreams will manifest. I always tell people be careful with what you really dream because you might just get it. When you do get it, you have to be ready for it. A lot of people go into self destruction because they’re not ready for it, and they go into self-sabotage. If your dreams do come your way you have to be ready to receive the gift. MM: Last but not least, is there a statement, quote, or proverb that you live by? SW: Yes I would say so, I am a huge exponent of the teachings of Joseph Campbell, I think he was one of the greatest teachers of the 20th century, as a matter of fact him and Karl Jung were very good friends as well.
He called this entire journey of ours “the heroes journey” and he said you had to have the courage to follow your own journey. He said something about “following your bliss” I think all of us need to do that, we need to find out what that bliss is, what really brings us joy and we need to follow that path because that’s really the true path. If we follow somebody else’s path it won’t be our own path. So we have to find out what is really true and what is blissful for us. I have followed my blissful path and that is why I am living my dream.
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MARSALA The Versatility of Marsala
Flattering against many skin tones, sultry and subtle Marsala is a great “go-to” color for beauty, providing enormous highlight for the cheek, and a captivating pop of color for nails, shadows lips and hair. Equally appealing to men and women, Marsala is a stirring and flavorful shade for apparel and accessories, one that encourages color creativity and experimentation.
Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors. An earthy shade with a bit of sophistication, texture is the story in print and packaging. A matte finish highlights Marsala’s organic nature while adding a sheen conveys a completely different message of glamour and luxury.
Marsala in Fashion & Style
From the runways in Milan to interior design, Marsala is 2015’s must have color. Its rich wine hue compliments all skin tones, and can be seen all over today’s current fashion and beauty trends. Home decor is also in love with this elegant hue, using it as both statement and accent pieces. Adding Marsala to your life will bring a sense class and sophistication to any occasion! Phil Keophaphone – Owner / Wardrobe Stylist hkstylegroup.wix.com/hkstylegroup 82
Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.
PANTONE’S 2015 COLOR OF THE YEAR Marsala in Home Design
“Marsala! Somewhere between a brown or dusty pink; I didn’t think I’d ever see the return of what at first glance looks like the late 70’s and early 80’s ‘mauve’. But then again, with the revival of the 70’s in both fashion and home furnishings, why not bring back this somewhat earthy hue? During fashion week you saw this organic color on the runways for Spring 2015. Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten and Burberry Menwear were great designers to feature it to name a few. As with fashion, which seems to repeat itself every ten years; I am looking forward to using this muted color in a brand new way within my own design projects. Color blocking it with a rich, deep and dark green (Think Tom Ford) or the boldness of a bright yellow; which I feel would really add ‘pop’, balance and compliment this otherwise restful color. Though I see it as more a winter color, I think it’s ‘pastel’ interpretations will translate beautifully to a more tropical climates like ours in Florida or maybe even now in the island of Cuba!” Jose J. Cabrera – Principal/Owner C L Studio, Inc. www.clstudioinc.com
Photography by Chris Correa Wardrobe Styling by Mika Altidor Clothing by Maus & Hoffman -Miami Thanks to Ocean Manor Hotel and Tokyo Blue for locations
SAROLTA BAN THE VISUAL STORY TELLER
BY: CORALIE CLAEYSEN-GLEYZON
ungarian photographer Sarolta Bán is the queen of digital surrealism. Through the careful selection and combination of various photographic elements taken from our everyday environment (a ladder, a phone handset, a hat, a bench) and the clever combination of living subjects animal or human –she creates a mesmerizing and surreal world in her photography. Old objects and trees are often an inspiration for Sarolta, because she believes they themselves have a story to tell. A creator from an early age, Sarolta knew how to draw before she could even walk. Building sand castles and plasticizing were her favorite activities as a child. To this day, she still builds sand castles… of the visual kind. Sarolta lets her powerful images speak for themselves. She builds them up, like sand castles of dreams and visions led by her imagination and meticulously constructed using her unique skills in digital manipulation. Sometimes absurd, sometimes highly conceptual and almost philosophical, Sarolta Bán’s work is unusually intense. Her images tell stories of angst, hope, love and a plethora of other feelings identifiable by all. They also present metaphysical environments that transcend reality and are an open windows to the creative possibilities of the mind. Discovering a Sarolta Bán image, is like opening a fairy tale book and letting yourself be transported to the whims, and fancies, of her surreal landscapes and creations. Her world knows virtually no limits, only the limits of the mind.
arolta Bán’s meticulous digital composites -often layering more than 100 elements for a single image- have garnered multiple awards and recognitions around the globe. With a Facebook following of over 100k fans and many more through other social sites like: Flickr and Behance. Sarolta recently used her skills to raise awareness for shelter dogs in need of a home. Using actual photos of abandoned pets and telling a story through her fantastic images, she helped give these dogs a second chance. Sarolta states the following: “Abandoned dogs sadly have really few chances to appear on a photo that will help them get out of the shelter. A photo that stands out from the crowd, and ‘speaks’ to a person, I would really like to help sheltered animals, and for sure, a good picture can be worth a thousand words.”
â€˜I donâ€™t think I am a photographer, I just like creating images.â€™
The time required to produce a final work varies between several hours and several days. Sarolta is as interested in representation as in the technique to achieve it, it is not unusual to use up to a hundred or so layers for a single photograph.
Her images tell stories of angst, hope, love and a plethora of other feelings identifiable by all.
SCHWIND A CREATIVE REBEL WITH A CAUSE FOR SELF-EXPRESSION. BY: ANGEL CARDONA
AC: Jason, I have to say that I am happy you had some time between your traveling to sit down and do this interview with us. I know you just finished up your Razor Mastery cutting class at the Wella World Studio in New York City. I also enjoyed the time when I was able to assist you in Daytona, FL for a two-day color and cutting seminar. I am sure our readers would like to know who is Jason Schwind? JS : An artist of all mediums, that’s constantly trying to see differently and shift or change things that are static. AC : What drew you to the hair industry and how did you get started? JS : Simply, the freedom of expression. I got started with an apprenticeship at Geometrics Hair Studio under Howard ‘Hep’ Preston; this was a super rad salon in east Baltimore, which I used to get my lid tightened up at –I had the chance, and I pounced on it! AC : How many years have you been in this industry, and what is your story? JS : Over 20, I’ll never be able to tell you exactly, even though it’s probably pretty easy to figure out. I’m a kid from east Baltimore, the area is very blue collar. It was the dream of most parents to get
their kids into college (even community college) most of our dads worked at either Bethlehem Steal, GM, etc. My dad worked for the Sunpaper (local newspaper). I always had the ability to stand out, I also got bored a lot, so individual sports like: surfing, skating and later snowboarding started to draw my attention because I could put my “signature” on them. Whether I was the best or not did not matter, it mattered that you knew I was the one doing it. Art school, made the most sense (even though the goal of ‘the parents’ would have been white collar education and employment). While at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) I found another medium –hair. This was a random discovery fueled by being broke and bored. I was hanging around a hot little salon in Canton Baltimore and was there on the right day to talk the owners into hiring me to sweep hair and shampoo for guests. It did not take long before I saw the potential to put my “signature” on this profession. Two licenses, hundreds of classes, and millions of haircuts later, here I am slaying follicle‘s with all the passion of the 20-year-old skateboarder, who wore a ball cap and carried a walk-man full of hip hop and punk rock. I now fight for the future of the hair profession, for me there’s no more explaining why I got into such a rad space in society; It was my choice to be a hair stylist, to stay a hair stylist and how I style the hair. To anyone that does not like it, or believe in it…I put my middle finger in the air.
AC : Now I know for some time you were the Creative Director for Graham Webb, what was that like? JS : Amazing, it was like being reborn in this profession. The commitment to precision/classic cutting and to the overall image and service was unsurpassed. For the first time it was not about making hair “cool” it was about making hair great. Sometimes I look back and can’t believe the path I had with them, and all the great people I met in those years that are still a big part of my life and profession. To name a few Diego Raviglione, Grace Nowitski, Lisa Richards, Linda Hilke, Graham Webb himself, Keith Schreckengost, the list goes on. AC: How did you get started with them?
“It was my choice to be a hair stylist, to stay a hair stylist and how I style the hair. To anyone that does not like it, or believe in it…I put my middle finger in the air.” JS : I took a class from a guy called Joseph Lee. Joseph was a GW design team member. He looked at me funny and said: “I think you would be good at this, ever think of joining a team?” AC: You had a great career with Graham Webb, what drew you to work with Wella? JS : I spent so much energy building beautiful shapes and would do a ton of shows and had no consistency in the Color I painted with. Wella is the best color line with the most influential team in the profession. I wanted to be part of the best and wanted to bring an edge to the brand. AC: How was your climb up to becoming a top hair artist?
JS : Unbelievable, there were so many times that I questioned what I was doing, I kept my eyes forward and went after every opportunity and challenge with 200% effort. Before I new it, I was being called a mentor, being put on main stages and had my work being covered by all forms of media –it was absolutely incredible. Even talking about it now makes me shake my head, no one in east Baltimore saw it coming… Jason Schwind goes international, wow! AC: What challenges did you face? JS : Well I was not the typical looking “British” hairdresser so I had to figure out how to keep my flavor and be an integral part of a brand. The extreme focus on precision hair was new to me, also managing the growth and balance of becoming a road warrior were all challenges I faced.
AC: What are your future plans? JS : To make the world beautiful! I still paint and ride boards. I want to instill freedom and respect into my son. Also, lately I have also gotten into some architecture, design and remodeling. AC: Can you let our readers know where you work and how people can learn more about you? JS : I own “Wind the Salon” and operate out of Scarlett Salon in downtown Denver, Colorado.
www.jasonschwind.com Facebook-Jasonschwind Instagram-Jasonschwind Twitter- Iamjasonschwind
HAIR TRENDS & TIPS As a hair stylist in the industry for the last 10 years, I have paid close attention to the various looks. With each change of season, trends are constantly changing as well as hair care regiments. Here are a few trends & tips that are sure to last. By: Angel Cardona
Hair Care Tip:
The winter months or change of seaso can cause some scalp issues. The scalp and hair are high in bacterial content which can add to any scalp issues you may be having, but coconut oil is an effective remedy to deal with the issue. Coconut oil contains both anti-fungal and antibacterial propeties to protect hair against dandruff, which can limit hair growth. I recommend to my clients to pair coconut oil treatments at home with Nioxin’s Scalp Recovery Medicated Cleanser & Moisturizing Conditioner to help combat dry, itchy scalps.
A look that would suit almost any occasion. A clean top knot could look both casual and elegant. The image to the left is a clear example of the look in full effect. It is a quick and easy style that could be done with little to no product. I accomplished this look just using Sebastian Shaper hairspray, a hair tie, and a couple of bobby pins… that’s it!
To reach Angel Cardona www.angelcardona.com
Deep defused roots with a different color for your mid lengths and ends is a great look that is sure to stick around for quite some time. It is not an ombre’, as you can see in the picture below there are not 3 different colors that you would normally see make up an ombré. In this image you have a medium to dark brown base color that melts right into a turquoise color. We have really begun to see the ombré evolve in the last couple years and this particular color trend would be a product of that evolution.
Woman of Steel
America’s Next Top Model winner, TV host, entrepreneur and fashion conoisseur, Yoanna House shows us her inner woman of “steel” as she shares some of her top 10 favorite things. Interview by: Massiel Mancebo Photographer Michael Giragosian Model Yoanna House Model Adam Hobbs Stylist Tammara Kohler Make Up Sheri Michelle Hair Angel Cardona Stylist Assist Gloriel Santana
Earrings Fur Cocktail Jacket Cocktail dress Boots
Oscar De La Renta Stylists Own Marchesa Marchesa Stylists Own
“I really like Marc Jacobs, I like vintage pieces from YSL, for more casual pieces l really like Theory, I like to wear some men’s clothes as well by Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana -especially sweaters for the winter. Wolford for my winter tights, Agent Provocateur for underneath, for jeans I like 7 For All Mankind.”
Earrings Fur Vest Blouse Skirt Shoes
Alexis Bittar Stylists Own Robert Rodriguez Escada Haute Stylists Own
Jacket Skirt Shoes Necklaces Bracelets
Etro Cusp - Neiman Marcus Stylist Own Alexis Bittar Alexis Bittar
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED? “I think to just take your time to get to know people, don’t have expectations of getting anything out of it, just enjoy the moment.”
Earrings Wrap Lace Corset Skirt
Alexis Bittar Baira Stylists Own Stylists Own
FRAGRANCE YOU’RE WEARING THESE DAYS? “I like Creed, I like Acqua di Parma for everyday, Aventus by Creed I wear on the weekends, and I also like the black rose scent Amber Mystique by Estee Lauder.”
Pants 7 For all Mankind
. BEST PLACE FOR VACATION? “Paris is my favorite place.” ULTIMATE STYLE ICON? “My style icon is Carine Roitfield.”
Earrings Jacket Blouse Jeans Shoes
Oscar De La Renta Escada Rag & Bone Joe’s Jeans Stylists Own
A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” by Dita Von Teese, I like her a lot!
Necklace Leather Jacket Gown Bracelet & Pin
Alexis Bittar Escada Theia Alexis Bittar
CRAFT ACROSS CULTURE A/W 2014 Raise the volume and define your style with featherweight volume. Created with Thickefy Foam. Only from Sebastian. sebastianprofessional.com
WHAT’S NEXT. 114
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Ericka Dunlap Since winning the title Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap has been fea-
tured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Hollywood Squares, Live With Regis and Kelly, and Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. She has been around the world, has served our nation as an advocate for diversity and inclusion and has plenty to say about her life as an entrepreneur, beauty queen, and vivacious dreamer. Interview by: Massiel Mancebo| Photography:
MM: How did becoming Miss Florida and then subsequently Miss America change your life? ED: I think it changed my life in a variety of ways. One, we, as in all the former Miss America’s, often joke with each other that, having the title has given us everything that we have to date, so every success that I have encountered since then is due in large part to being Miss America. However, with that there are also a number of challenges that come along with being in a public position where you are not an elected official, but you are still scrutinized by the public, and having that type of scrutiny at such a young age is harmful. It’s hurtful, it’s frustrating, but at the same time it’s what we signed up for, we just didn’t know to what extent, and of course we didn’t understand the severity of the internet. In 2004, 2003 when I won, the internet was a part of our lives, in the way of email
and chatting and things of that nature, and we didn’t have text messaging that was really prevalent, but now text messaging is a major means of communication. The use of technology was completely different and we didn’t realize the impact and ramifications of everything you do is now recorded, where as being miss America in the 50s was not like that. MM: How did it change your perception of yourself? ED: What’s interesting is that all my life I aspired to be Miss America and to be a business woman. Those were my two main focuses as a child, so everyday I primarily focused on how would Miss America act today, how would a business woman portray herself, what am I supposed to be doing in order to emulate that? Then once I became Miss America which is literally like a 14,000 to 1 chance, I beat those odds and became Miss America. It’s funny because I
E MM: Do you feel that it was difficult being the first African- American Miss Florida? Or was the impact of this minimal?
It’s a testament to the strength of my ancestors really that I became Miss America. I got an opportunity to reconcile and vindicate centuries worth of negative reality for African American women.
became more aware of my self-image in a negative way. There was more scrutiny, there was more criticism and critique and before I was just Ericka to my peers. I was Ericka to my family and my small hometown, and then I became Miss America to the country and the world, so it definitely changed my self-image negatively because I had to deal with people’s expectations, and they didn’t know me but they expected so much more of me. It was really unrealistic. I was 21, what do you expect out of a 21 year old? To finish school, to not screw up! (laughs) to not go to jail or get pregnant. I was placed under another plateau of scrutiny that I dare say was unfair, clearly I could handle it, but it was a lot of pressure. I started to pay way more attention to my weight and my hair, and everything was always an issue because I couldn’t walk out of the house without looking like Miss America! Still, I don’t regret it at all. I love the fact that I was able to live out my childhood dream. I literally am a fairy tale princess come to reality, and not a lot of little girls can say that, not a lot of big girls can say that. I guess what I regret are some of the people that came along with that progression, and when you have this extraordinary gift and you have all these talents, in order for you to have promotion in your life there are always going to be people attached to that promotion. Those people aren’t promised to be happy, smiling, rainbow loving people; those people can by nasty, back-stabbing, two-faced people in my path, but there have also been amazingly supportive people for a particular time frame and season of my life. I lived in Nashville for 5 years and I had people there who were friends at that time, but they served their purpose for that season. I certainly have had my springs and summers and then my falls and winters, but it’s a part of it. It’s a part of life and there are a handful of true friends that I have been able to maintain.
ED: It was very difficult. It was difficult because the Miss Florida had been in existence for 68 years and it never had an African American representative, which is ridiculous considering the demographics of the state of Florida, so when I looked at all of the women who came before me who should have won Miss Florida and should have been able to represent their home state who were African American, I’m frustrated and dumbfounded that they did not have the chance. However, I’m grateful that I was able to represent them all the way to the top. When I talk about being Miss America, it’s for so many more people than just myself and for my legacy; it is reaching backward to my great-great-great-great-grandmother who was probably never told she was beautiful because she was a slave. Was probably raped, kidnapped and displaced from everything
that she knew and completely disregarded and disrespected as a human being, and the fact that within that lineage there is another woman who was able to literally be queen of femininity for the country is pretty remarkable stuff, so it’s a testament to the strength of my ancestors really that I became Miss America, I got an opportunity to reconcile and vindicate centuries worth of negative reality for African American women. I actually have a vase with cotton in my house, and I keep it upstairs next to my bed, and I have it there as a reminder that everything that I have is because someone else suffered before me. I am grateful for who they were, I’m grateful for the fact that I didn’t have to suffer, I have had a very privileged life because other people worked really hard for me. Now, for the rest of my life my goal is to work really hard and to tear down stereotypes so that my grandchildren can also have a better life. MM: Ultimately was there a moment when you felt that you had “made it” or you had achieved something great? ED: Yeah, when I was invited to be on Oprah and I was on the couch sitting next to her… that’s when I knew I made it! (laughs) I had literally in my mind died and gone to heaven in that moment, because I walked out and Oprah Winfrey invited me, and I was the first Miss America to be invited to her show and it was because I had worn this brilliant yellow dress and her best friend Gail’s favorite color is yellow, her (Gail) kitchen or breakfast nook is in canary yellow, so she noticed my dress as she was watching Miss America the night I won. She then called Oprah and said: “Oh my God, this black girl in this yellow dress! She’s phenomenal, you have to watch her!” And apparently they watched me win! So I came out on the Oprah set and she’s standing there to receive me, and she gives me this big hug and when I walk over to her she has a tear in her eyes -for me! She had tear streaks coming down her face and I’m thinking, (Oh my God, Oprah cares that much about me?) I felt
so minuscule in the grand scheme of Oprah’s world but in that moment, I felt like everything in her world. Because as she said: “That was my hallelujah moment!” Referring to when I won miss America, but beyond that I think she really felt a connection to me because being a dark skinned woman and being hailed as beautiful is a struggle that we have all dealt with all our lives. Many dark skinned women want to be lighter skinned, we want to have long curly hair, we want to have light eyes, thinner lips, a smaller nose, because we are taught that this is beauty. So when I look at someone like Lupita Nyong’o I am thrilled at her success, I am thrilled with her look and that the world is receiving it, I’m thrilled that she’s on magazine covers free to be her beautiful black self ! It’s awesome, it’s fantastic. MM: What were some of the most memorable things you got to do as a reigning Miss America?
ED: I was fortunate to travel to Kuwait and Afghanistan during my year. I served Thanksgiving dinner to the U.S. soldiers at 5 different bases, and that topped the cake; there was nothing else that I could have done that could have been more exciting. I won in September, Oprah was in October, and then Thanksgiving I go to Afghanistan and Kuwait, and I was on cloud nine, because as a 21 year old kid of a small town -Orlando is still a small town to me -that’s a pretty extraordinary opportunity, to have the ability to travel around the world. I was on the front cover of the Kuwaiti newspaper everyday of my visit, in full color, top of the page! It was just pretty amazing that I had the chance to do that. I was the Grand Marshall for the Daytona 500 race, which is awesome because I’m from Orlando and the races are always a big deal for us. All my life my brother and I had passed by the speedway and had never gone to a race, and then I got to be the Grand Marshall. It was kind of extraordinary that I go to do these things kind of in my backyard that I never thought I’d get the chance to do, and then I was doing them at the highest level that you could enjoy those experiences. MM: Were there moment when you felt insecure or lacking in confidence? If so, what did you do to overcome these feelings? ED: During that year I didn’t really have a lot of insecurities because I was living the dream, I didn’t have time to be insecure. The only thing that I kept in mind was that I was concerned about gaining weight because I was at competition weight when I won which is like a size 2 or 4 which is way small for me, my
normal size is a 6-8. I was eating a lot of really good food that I hadn’t had before; it was my first time eating risotto… My favorite was a wild mushroom risotto with duck confit and it was just, wow! Seriously. It was my first time eating a lot of interestingly exotic foods, I love to eat, I’m a linguist and I feel that my tongue leads me and I eat a lot, I love to eat. MM: So what did you do to overcome those feelings? Did you just say forget it! I’m going to eat whatever I want? ED: I did! Because one of the Miss Americas told me to, I’m never going to forget the day I met her because it was just like a dream after having so many of their pictures hung up on my wall in college and they are all my friends now. It’s so weird! If I go to their city we usually reconnect and we go to dinner, they are my friends. They are my sisters and it’s so awesome. But it was funny because when I met this one in particular she said to me: “No matter what just remember, you already won, you have nothing else to prove, have some ice cream!” So the night before I went on the Oprah show I ordered ribs and vanilla ice cream because I wanted it, and I ate it, and the next morning I felt great about myself ! I had them delivered from room service just so I could tell that story! (laughs) What advice would you give to other young girls who are trying to achieve their dreams? I always tell the girls that I mentor that accomplishing your dreams is just as simple as you putting effort into the dream. If you are putting effort into something and you are 100% dedicated to it, you will arrive. You will arrive at your destination as long as you are supremely focused, you can’t let anything deter your focus. That is relationships, romantic relationships, you have to choose wisely. I mean I have to say I was really protected and really lucky, I can honestly say I never had a disrespectful boyfriend, I had young and stupid boyfriends (laughs)! But you just have to stay focused. MM: Who was/is someone that you look up to, that has motivated you the most in your life? ED: I really admire my mom a lot. She’s a very strong woman. She has overcome
E D and handled so many things that I don’t ED: Because I talk with my hands and think I’d be able to do. She married use my hands so much, I’m constantly young and she had my other 4 siblings putting on creams and lotions. I love to by the time she was 27, she was a nurse use Nivea lotion, it’s really my favorite. I for 34 years, and she is an awesome mom. use this oil called Ojon. I use it on my She’s really tough. She has done so many things, that hopefully I can “When you think you live up to when I become a mother, are the least noticeI mean the apple can’t fall that far able the most insigfrom the tree, I have to be able to nificant and insecure draw from her strength as well. about yourself, you Even some of her negative aspects can make such a great inspire me too, because my mom is very hard on herself, so I never impact, you just have want to just be complacent about to realize your power.” how I treat myself. My mom and I argue about how she treats herself because she always puts everyone else first, even strangers! We can be in a store for example and she will be so concerned if I’m not moving further along in the line because she wants the people behind us to have room. I feel like one day I’m going to have a daughter who’s giving me all kinds of hell (laughs), I’m going to turn into my mom, and I’m going to have daughter who’s going to run me! MM: What do you do to keep yourself grounded and stress free with a busy schedule?
ED: I have the most amazing, amazing life partner, the love of my life, my world. He is a big part of my relaxation! (laughs) he is my perfect yen and I am his perfect yang. He is very deep and thoughtful, and he is very quiet and deliberate, and I am very “fly by the seat of my pants” “quick quick, we are running late” and he is just… He’s from Jamaica, and he’s always asking, “what’s the rush?” And I’m like “no, no, no! We are not wearing sandals on the beach!” (laughs) but he has taught me to slow down; he reminds me to drink water! He is calm and soothing to me. We meditate together, and we do yoga together, and he has influenced my world in a way that no one else has been able to, so that I know that he is my soulmate -I’m so happy! MM: What are your top beauty regimes/products that keep you looking like a queen?
ED: Dubai, Dubai is the most majestic place on earth. It truly makes you feel like a queen being there. It’s magical there, the treatment is great, people treat you well. The food is on a different stratosphere of taste, and the culture is magnificent; I love it. I also loved Vietnam, the people are so accommodating and so kind, their culture is very established. MM: What would you say to someone who is struggling with self-esteem issues due to pressure, or negative opinions, etc? ED: Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business, that’s what I would say. Your opinion of me is none of my business, so you can keep it, tell it, I don’t really care because it’s your opinion. Who gave you authority? Who died and made you queen? Because last I heard I’m queen! (laughs) I’ve got a real crown in my house, under my bed! MM: Now we know it’s under your bed! (laughs) ED: I’m going to have to move it now! It’s a little weird to celebrate myself sometimes, but I’m getting to the point in life where I’m learning to celebrate my accomplishments. Celebrate your accomplishments because they were given to you so that you could use them for other people and for yourself. MM: Lastly, what is a quote, statement or proverb that you live by?
hair and on my nails. I’m in transition to become a vegetarian and so I eat really well. I eat mainly for function but I don’t eat for gratification as a normal. I’m voided of salt, and meat, I do have an issue with sweets and that’s what I’m cutting myself off from now! MM: You’ve gotten to travel a lot as Miss America and also as a TV personality, is there any place that impacted you more than any other?
ED: I have a lot of them, but my favorite one right now is: “If you feel like you’re insignificant, you haven’t spent the night with a mosquito.” It’s an African proverb. It should be a Floridian proverb! (laughs) When you think about what a mosquito can do? When you think you are the least noticeable the most insignificant and insecure about yourself, you can make such a great impact, you just have to realize your power. If the mosquito has great power, then what about someone who actually has a brain?
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Shine In The
Don’t start 2015 with the same tired resolutions, find your true sparkle!
Creative Director / Stylist– Giselle Sendra of Vero Style Report Photographer- Cindy Leon of Foto Lucid Makeup Artist- Morgan Lahman Female Model- Kyleigh McCollam Male Model- Oussama Chalhoub Clothing Provided by: Kemps, Betsy Johnson Bliss, Anchors and Acorns, Treasure Lane, C-Bling Boutique Car Courtesy of Coachmen Inc.
et us go on record that there is a fine line between looking scandalous and looking confident, designer Ralph Lauren for example, has mastered the look of elegance and confidence by creating a long loose fitting dress with a perfectly placed slit. Their ‘Ralph’ line has just the right amount of sexiness without losing sophistication. If a short dress is more your style then slip onto this gold ring neck dress by Shelli Segal. With an accessory already attached to the garment all you need to do is pop on a pair of earrings and a cocktail ring. A little faux fur won’t hurt either! Joie’s blush colored vest not only adds to the fierceness of a short dress, but is also luxurious. Don’t forget to step out in fabulous heels like the bedazzled sandals by Betsey Johnson.
ake being more confident one of your top priorities. You will be surprised at how much you can really accomplish just by being confident. A man or woman with confidence is a weapon to fear.
here’s no denying the luxury that comes with wearing metallic pieces. Why not bring in a new year with a head-to-toe metallic look? The shimmer is oh so sweet! Wearing a body full of metallic colors is not just about looking luxurious and on trend, it is also about letting everyone know that you are full of confidence and you have no need to hide it.
“So go ahead, start 2015 rocking that full on metallic outfit you would probably never wear last year! Don’t be shocked if suddenly doors start opening in front of you, literally. Those guys can’t just stand there staring all night can they?”
Published on Jan 12, 2017
One of my favourite issues I worked on with Lapalme Magazine as their assistant editor, and also their main fashion journalist and designer.